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Setting Function Lock (F-Lock) Multimedia Keyboard

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Anonymous
June 1, 2004 3:41:03 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Good day

I have a client with around 50 seats that just upgraded all of their PCs, and they came with Microsoft Multimedia Keyboards. They keyboards are generally pretty nice, except for two things:

1) The Function Keys are disabled by default (F1-F12), and some goofy Windows commands come up by default instead. This is highly annoying for the users, because the software they use requires good old traditional F-keys, not the cheesy Windows commands. If they forget to hit the F-Lock key each time they restart their computer, their keys don't work. And you know that some users NEVER remember to press it, and they call for tech support over and over again (especially the president of the company).

Q: How do you get the keyboard to default to "normal mode" where the function keys work like function keys instead of the new-fangled odd-ball keys? If MS doesn't support defaulting their keyboards to the standard functions accepted worldwide, is there any freeware software widget that will fix this bug?

2) The insert key has been moved up to the PrtScrn key, and both share one key. I guess that MS figures that neither key gets used very much, so why not relegate them to some odd corner of obscurity. I've got news though -- people DO use those keys!

The Insert key is standard fare for copying and pasting (it's been used for that since the DOS days, and a lot of people are still in the habit of using it for that -- I am for one). The insert key is also used in many terminal programs to send control functions and to alter the insert/overwrite mode. MS Office itself uses the Insert key to toggle the insert/overwrite mode. Finally, the same program that uses the function keys for my clients happens to use the Insert key on a few screens, too.

If I solve issue #1 (keeping F-Lock turned on all the time), I will end up with a second problem: since Insert goes away when F-Lock is on, the users are going to have to do 3 keystrokes to toggle the Insert key (F-Lock off, Insert, F-Lock on again).

This is really a lame layout, IMO, and the huge Delete key could have been kept one-key high, and placed the Insert key above or below it. Better yet, don't mess with the standard layout of keys. For touch typists with many years of experience typing, it causes a lot of problems.

I'm not trying to bash MS or the engineers who designed the keyboard. In most other ways it's very nice. The keys have a soft, tactile response that actually seems to improve my typing speed and accuracy (I've hear similar comments from users). The color scheme goes well with most computers, and there's a nice balance between providing extra keys and not overwhelming the user with too many keys.

I just remembered one last issue: the Sleep key needs to be able to be disabled. The Log Off key can be; why not the Sleep key? The keyboard's a bit large, and when people move it around, it's SO easy to bump the sleep key accidentally. At least it's not a Power Off key, but still... The designers shouldn't restrict the end user from being able to use (or not use, in this case) the hardware they way they want/need.

Thank you, and hopefully somebody will have a fix for the F-Lock bug. The other comments will hopefully cross the desk of a keyboard engineer/designer and be considered in a future upgrade. A software driver upgrade may be able to fix some of the issues even for my clients. (Hint, hint) :-)

--Will Murray
wmcons at NOSPAM comcast dot net
Anonymous
June 1, 2004 7:09:53 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

See if http://mvps.org/jtsang/flock.html helps you.

--
Jason Tsang - Microsoft MVP

Find out about the MS MVP Program -
http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/default.aspx

"Will" <anonymous@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:02AEE199-3FEA-4AD5-9BC6-F6C6EFF7FED0@microsoft.com...
> Good day
>
> I have a client with around 50 seats that just upgraded all of their PCs,
and they came with Microsoft Multimedia Keyboards. They keyboards are
generally pretty nice, except for two things:
>
> 1) The Function Keys are disabled by default (F1-F12), and some goofy
Windows commands come up by default instead. This is highly annoying for the
users, because the software they use requires good old traditional F-keys,
not the cheesy Windows commands. If they forget to hit the F-Lock key each
time they restart their computer, their keys don't work. And you know that
some users NEVER remember to press it, and they call for tech support over
and over again (especially the president of the company).
>
> Q: How do you get the keyboard to default to "normal mode" where the
function keys work like function keys instead of the new-fangled odd-ball
keys? If MS doesn't support defaulting their keyboards to the standard
functions accepted worldwide, is there any freeware software widget that
will fix this bug?
>
> 2) The insert key has been moved up to the PrtScrn key, and both share one
key. I guess that MS figures that neither key gets used very much, so why
not relegate them to some odd corner of obscurity. I've got news though --
people DO use those keys!
>
> The Insert key is standard fare for copying and pasting (it's been used
for that since the DOS days, and a lot of people are still in the habit of
using it for that -- I am for one). The insert key is also used in many
terminal programs to send control functions and to alter the
insert/overwrite mode. MS Office itself uses the Insert key to toggle the
insert/overwrite mode. Finally, the same program that uses the function keys
for my clients happens to use the Insert key on a few screens, too.
>
> If I solve issue #1 (keeping F-Lock turned on all the time), I will end up
with a second problem: since Insert goes away when F-Lock is on, the users
are going to have to do 3 keystrokes to toggle the Insert key (F-Lock off,
Insert, F-Lock on again).
>
> This is really a lame layout, IMO, and the huge Delete key could have been
kept one-key high, and placed the Insert key above or below it. Better yet,
don't mess with the standard layout of keys. For touch typists with many
years of experience typing, it causes a lot of problems.
>
> I'm not trying to bash MS or the engineers who designed the keyboard. In
most other ways it's very nice. The keys have a soft, tactile response that
actually seems to improve my typing speed and accuracy (I've hear similar
comments from users). The color scheme goes well with most computers, and
there's a nice balance between providing extra keys and not overwhelming the
user with too many keys.
>
> I just remembered one last issue: the Sleep key needs to be able to be
disabled. The Log Off key can be; why not the Sleep key? The keyboard's a
bit large, and when people move it around, it's SO easy to bump the sleep
key accidentally. At least it's not a Power Off key, but still... The
designers shouldn't restrict the end user from being able to use (or not
use, in this case) the hardware they way they want/need.
>
> Thank you, and hopefully somebody will have a fix for the F-Lock bug. The
other comments will hopefully cross the desk of a keyboard engineer/designer
and be considered in a future upgrade. A software driver upgrade may be able
to fix some of the issues even for my clients. (Hint, hint) :-)
>
> --Will Murray
> wmcons at NOSPAM comcast dot net
>
!